Discovering The Wolf & The Red Dress by Allan was like entering a rabbit hole, but never wanting to get back out.
The thing is, there is little known about Allan Rayman, a young enigmatic musical act hailing from the northern parts of Toronto. He’s only done one interview in the past, and it wasn’t even a formal interview (as far as I can tell). Not much else can be found online about him, he doesn’t even have that big of a following on social networks, at all, which is very surprising to say the least. Some of his past releases include his first EP titled Incrid Cold, and 3 videos he’s released since last fall to promote his debut LP Hotel Allan. He’s passed under everyone’s radar for quite some time, and all of that is about to change very soon.
Discovering Allan and listening to his debut LP Hotel Allan is also like finding a $50 bill on the ground. A feeling of excitement overcomes your senses for the first few minutes, and then you start feeling slightly guilty, because someone else’s belonging is no longer in their hands, but in yours.
For Allan, the basis of his music is all about falling in love, which for him, is just like creating a recipe for death. Loving his music, and releasing it to the outside world is like losing someone you love, which could easily be translated as losing one’s self, a reoccurring theme in the songs of his debut LP.
What blew me away is the fact that discovering Allan was exactly like it was way back when the internet wasn’t really a thing. You had to dig for that information and the music was really how you judged the artist before anything else. I inquired about getting some questions answered, and got kindly swerved, so I decided not to push further. I really wanted to experience his music the way it was crafted for me to: through the music. I studied Hotel Allan and watched his videos multiple times, trying to get some clues as to who he is, and how his music translates itself to me through its pure form.
Just like a piece of art hanging in the middle of nowhere, I had so many questions to ask, but I had to let the music take the reigns on this one. I cannot describe the rush of emotions you get from listening to Hotel Allan. From the musicality, to the enchanting production, Allan manages totake you to places you don’t expect to be taken through music, an album that becomes so personally relatable, you’ll want to listen to it again, just to discover yourself even more.
Dear Allan, I heard you made the trip.
It seems like this album’s main theme is Allan‘s long voyage of self-discovery, living on the edge of making a decision to sell his soul to love, which for him, ultimately means signing the deal of death. The way he flirts with the idea of fighting with his inner-demons feels so real, that it becomes something all of us can relate to easily. The Wolf & The Red Dress is an important title to take down from all of this, because it directly represents the main characters of his story. The Wolf is represented by a girl in a red dress throughout his visuals (including his instagram). Although there aren’t any tracks with that exact same title, it is clear that the character is some sort of inner-demon he’s fighting through this voyage. There is a girl’s voice that challenges Allan throughout the album, as he struggles to make the decision between love and music. Could this be a direct wink at the metaphor that refers to musicians who end up signing a deal with the Devil?
It makes sense that Allan could be apprehensive about doing any ‘formal press’ for his music. It kind of feels like it would easily ruin his art, especially if he handed us all the answers on a golden platter. The enigma behind his persona is what truly drives you throughout the LP, as his storytelling unfolds, laid on authentic blues-y/r&b style tracks, you understand that you are listening to something that is unique, it’s almost difficult to classify it into an already-existing genre.
Why does loving me, mean the death of you? -Graceland
The thing is, without the visuals accompanying this release, Allan could’ve easily passed under my radar. It was really after watching the visuals he released that his story became that much more attractive to look into. He released visuals for “Beverly”, “Graceland” and “27” separately, like pieces of a puzzle you had to put together yourself.
I placed them in the right order of release in this article (starting from the top), just so you can experience “The Wolf & The Red Dress” (below) appropriately. These videos were released one after the other, offering glimpses to a story that was recently pieced together to make more sense.
I felt extremely excited when I watched the short film “The Wolf & The Red Dress” (below), the storyline of the videos above started to make sense to me, and the pieces of the puzzle were no longer scrambled. Steph Verschuren is the visionary in this project. He was the main director and editor for these visuals alongside Allan who is credited as a Producer. Watch the 9 min clip right here:
His debut album Hotel Allan just dropped as a free download. There is absolutely no excuse for you to skip this 10-track masterpiece. I can guarantee that you will need to listen to this more than once, and you will. His seamless vocals are super raw, and super real, and the production is as authentic as can be. This will no doubt be a high contender for 2015, and we’re not even halfway done yet. If you are curious enough to indulge in the alternative side of r&b, laid over an authentically produced album of epic proportion, Allan Rayman is who you should discover right now.